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P: Levels adjustment

Explorer ,
May 08, 2023 May 08, 2023

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I am wondering why Light Room Classic does not have a levels adjustment available. I think it would be really useful. There's a tone curve adjustment, but I find I have to switch to Photoshop for levels. Is it just me, or am I missing something?

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Community Expert ,
May 08, 2023 May 08, 2023

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I find that the tools in LrC are very similar to Levels in Ps... see the screen shot for options 1. you can click and drag the Histogram in three areas for Shadows, Exposure and Hightlights or 2. use the 4 Regions in the Tone Curve....Screen Shot 2023-05-08 at 1.24.01 PM.png

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Explorer ,
May 24, 2023 May 24, 2023

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Thanks for the reply Geoff - much appreciated. I am aware of your explaination, but don't find it as precise as the levels adjustment in Photoshop. Thanks again for taking the time to reply

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Community Expert ,
May 24, 2023 May 24, 2023

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Shift double-click on Blacks and Whites to get an Auto Levels equivalent 

Sean McCormack. Author of 'Essential Development 3'. Magazine Writer. Former Official Fuji X-Photographer.

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Explorer ,
May 24, 2023 May 24, 2023

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Thanks for that Sean - really helpful. Much appreciated

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Community Expert ,
May 24, 2023 May 24, 2023

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Lightroom/ACR processing controls are image adaptive. The effect of adjustments depends on image content. For instance, you cant easily hard clip highlights with the standard sliders. They will always try to preserve the highlights from blowing out.

 

In other words, there are no fixed numbers to work from. So Levels as seen in Photoshop couldn't work as a standard slider.

 

There is one exception, and that's Tone Curve, (set to point curve, not parametric curve). That is absolute, not image adaptive. You can in fact use that in the same way as Levels by dragging the endpoints. There's no midpoint gamma slider obviously, but you can read the numbers.

 

Yes, I suppose it should be possible to add a Photoshop-style Levels control, given that Tone Curve already exists. The question is, do people miss it enough. Time and votes will tell. Personally I feel no need for it.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 21, 2023 Jul 21, 2023

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Hi All,

 

I would greatly appreciate a "Levels" tool. For the time being, I use the curves to adjust levels, but it is not as convenient as a classical levels tool. I agree that the Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks are performant, but sometimes I need to fix my white and black limits independantly.

What about you all ?

Robert

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 21, 2023 Jul 21, 2023

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Thanks very much Sean for the the Auto Levels equivalent. Could be helpful.

But the histogram displayed in LrC is valid for the colour space used in the Development module of LrC, i.e. Melissa, except when soft-proofing. If you want to set your black and white points at the clipping limit when soft-proofing, the histogram changes accordingly, but the Sean's trick doesn't work, as a window appears which asks you if you want to make a softproof copy, that you can't work around. In addition, the R,G,B or Luminance curves, from which you could expect to set the white and black points, don't change and stay in the Melissa space. So, some improvements could be done, I think, to allow setting the white and black points in the softproofing mode. Coming from the main Adobe competitor for RAW developer, I found this possibility very helpful before printing or sending proofs to some people.

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